Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

He who wants to plant corn must make peace with the crows. -African Proverb

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Seven Mega Malls of Africa

Seven largest malls in Africa.


Despite having the 12th largest mall in the world, traditional markets are still the prevailing choice for shoppers across the African continent. However, seven super structures shatter the mold of what you think about luxury shopping in Africa.

Seven largest malls in Africa in order are:


Mall of Arabia - Cairo, Egypt

Mega Malls of Africa, the largest mall in Africa is Mall of Arabia located in Cairo, Egypt
Mega Malls of Africa, the largest mall in Africa is
Mall of Arabia located in Cairo, Egypt
Built in the shape of a huge eye, the launch of Africa's largest shopping mall at 9.5 million sq ft, the Mall of Arabia Cairo opened in December of 2010. Mall of Arabia Cairo is located on the outskirts of Cairo featuring a large food court, dancing fountains along with upscale indoor shops and an outdoor market.


Morocco Mall - Casablanca, Morocco

Morocco Mall is the second largest shopping center in at 2.7 million sq ft and is located in Casablanca, Morocco.  Morocco Mall, which opened on December 1, 2011 featuring a 1 million liter aquarium called Aquadream which contains over 40 different species of fish. Visitors can go scuba diving with a professional instructor inside the aquarium.


Gateway Theatre of Shopping - Durban, South Africa

Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Durban South Africa at 2.4 million sq ft opened in September 2001 and has over 390 stores, 70 places to eat, a helipad, IMAX Theatre , Virgin Active Gym , Wavehouse waterpark , Outdoor Go-Karting , Skatepark , Concert Venue , Hotel and Road Lodge.


Cairo Festival City - New Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Festival City Mall is located in Almaza Al Qahirah Egypt. The Mall extends over 1.7 million sq ft spread on three levels, featuring over 300 shops, 95 restaurants and cafes, anchored by furniture flagship store IKEA, hypermarket Carrefour, and four department stores, Debenhams, H&M, Marks & Spencer and ZARA.
Canal Walk has over 400 stores and its very own television channel, CWTV with 2 giant screens and 32 plasma screens. The mall also has the unique Trading Post and Market Lane, which showcases the work of local retailers and craftsmen as well as views of Table Mountain and Robben Island.
Shopping for gifts


Stars Centre, Citystars Heliopolis - Cairo Egypt

Citystars Heliopolis has a total built up area of 8.1 thousand sq ft in the heart of Cairo and consists of Stars Centre, the largest shopping and entertainment center in Egypt. Citystars Heliopolis has over 750 stores over an area of 151,000 square meters.


Canal Walk - Cape Town, South Africa

Canal Walk has over 400 stores and its very own television channel, CWTV with 2 giant screens and 32 plasma screens. The mall also has the unique Trading Post and Market Lane, which showcases the work of local retailers and craftsmen as well as views of Table Mountain and Robben Island.  Canal Walk opened in 2000 and was built around a canal. It has a total retail area of 1.5 thousand sq ft.


Mall of Africa - South Africa, Midrand

Located in Waterfall City Midrand, Gauteng, Mall of Africa is South Africa's largest shopping Mall ever built in a single phase, with over 1.4 thousand sq ft of retail space, and is home to over 300 shops. Opened in April 2016, Mall of Africa architectural appearance is inspired by Africa’s geological features and iconic landscapes.


Mega Malls of Africa, the 7th largest mall is Stars Centre, Citystars Heliopolis in Cairo Egypt
Stars Centre, Citystars Heliopolis - Cairo Egypt
The Crystal Court is located in the Northern Section of the mall, representing Southern Africa's mineral wealth with sharp geometric patterns. The Great Lakes Court is located the Eastern Section of the mall, representing the Great Lakes mostly of East Africa and has calm and gentle materials used. The Desert Court is located in the Southern Section of the mall, representing the Sahara Desert of North Africa and has calm motifs used in traditional Berber carpets. The Oleum Court is located in the Western Section of the mall, representing West Africa's Oil wealth. The Forest Walk Court is in the center of the shopping mall, representing Central Africa and its rain forests.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

African Clay Oil Lamp Tutorial

Clay oil lamps in Africa are used for utilitarian, ritualistic, and symbolic purposes.


Some of the earliest lamps were stones with depressions in which animal fats were likely burned as a source of light.
Clay oil lamp
In Africa for millions of years, people captured naturally occurring fire, tended it, and preserved it for long periods. A fire is important not only for warmth and for cooking, but for light. Currently, nearly 662 million Africans lack access to electricity. Throughout Africa, only 43% of urban and rural households have access to reliable electricity.

It is very hard to do anything once the daylight is gone. Some of the earliest lamps were stones with depressions in which animal fats were likely burned as a source of light. Shells, such as conch or oyster, were also used as lamps. Manufactured lamps are not always cost effective and readily available. Many households use simple molds or hand forming techniques to make clay lamps.

Clay Oil Lamp Tutorial


Materials:
• Waterproof air-dry clay, the amount depends on the size of your lamp
• 100% cotton fabric for wick, 4 inches wide, and the length depends on the size of your lamp
• Olive oil enough to fill the lamp
• Scissors

Directions:
Throughout Africa, only 43% of urban and rural households have access to reliable electricity.
Reading by candle light
Olive oil lamps are simple to make and nearly any shape can be used, as long as it holds oil without leaking or spilling and has a spout and a filling hole. Once your lamp is shaped to your liking, follow directions on the clay package to cure and harden it. 

The simplest shape is a saucer lamp. Raised edges hold the oil, and a single depression in the rim forms the wick spout. Cut a piece of cotton cloth 3/4” wide and the exact length depends on the size of your lamp. Braid or twist the cloth in a tightly spiraled wick. Fill the lamp with olive oil.

Insert the wick into the lamp’s spout positioning the wick so it extends from the bottom of the oil lamp to approximately 1/2” above the spout. Trim the excess if any with scissors. Be sure the wick is saturated with oil before lighting. Use your handmade clay lamp under adult supervision only. Oil lamps may set off smoke detectors.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Africa Flip Flop Pollution Problem

Flip flops found littered on beaches and in waterways of Kenya are made into works of African art.


Trash into treasure


Flip flops found littered on beaches and in waterways of Kenya are made in to works of African art
Elephant made from broken flip flops
Flip flops are one of the largest marine pollutants in the Indian Ocean and her beaches. Tons of broken and discarded flip flops wash up on East African coast each year. These flip flops were dumped in cities and villages and are carried away by sewage systems, rivers and other waterways into Kenyan coastlines every year. 

The union of ocean currents at the tip of the Lamu Archipelago drags thousands of flip flops washed away from beaches around the world onto the sea turtle nesting grounds. With driftwood and flip flops littering the beaches, female sea turtles struggle to reach nesting sites and hatchlings, already threatened by a variety of predators that lie between the nest site and the water's edge, often fail to reach the safety of the ocean when faced with piles of debris.

"Over three billion people can only afford flip flops," says Erin Smith of Ocean Sole, "They hang on to them, they fix them, they duct tape them, mend them and then usually discard them." "We are actually receivers of pretty much the world's marine pollution, an immense amount of the pollution that appears on East Africa beaches come from thrown away flip flops from Asia, India and China.”

Environmentally friendly way to dispose of flip-flops


Waterways in Africa are greatly polluted because of flip flops. They are one of the largest marine pollutants along Africas' East coast.Ocean Sole has a team of African artisans in Nairobi Kenya to design sculptures from discarded flip flops into crafty works of art and just as important, a source of income. The African artisans clean the rubber sandals and sort them according to their color. Next, they cut, mold and sand them as they turn the old flip-flops into their eye-catching creations.

Importing flip flops from recycling crews from Kenya including Kibera (Key-bear-a), Kenya’s Largest Slum, broken flip flops are made into animal creations such as the famous 18-foot life-sized giraffe. Artists convert the flip flops into sculptures, jewelry, key rings and other small gifts to sell in local tourist markets and to export around the world. These celebrated upcycled flip flop creations have even made their way into the hands of Pope Francis in 2015.
The waterways in Africa are greatly polluted because of flip flops
Collecting flip flops


According to Ocean Sole, "Thousands and thousands of flip flops are washed up onto the East African coast creating an environmental disaster. Discarded flip flops not only spoil the natural beauty of African beaches and oceans, the rubber soles are swallowed and suffocated on by fish and other marine life. Flip flops also obstruct turtle hatchlings from reaching the sea and are a man-made menace to Africa’s fragile ecosystems."

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The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb